Systematic review of motives for episodic volunteering
VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
Exercise Medicine Research Institute
Although episodic volunteers are a critical resource for many organisations, their motives for volunteering are poorly understood. A systematic review was conducted to describe empirical evidence about motives for episodic volunteering (EV) across sectors (sport, tourism, events, health and social welfare). Identified EV motives were then categorised using core functions from the Volunteer Functions Inventory (VFI) for comparison across studies. Twelve databases (1990–December 2014) were searched. Thirty-three English language studies included results describing EV motives. Studies were predominantly cross-sectional, quantitative, event-based and originating in North America. Measurement of motives was also inconsistent. Common motives were helping others and socialising. Physical challenge and healing motives were specific to sport-based events and charity sport events, respectively. Over 80 % of motives were classified using VFI functions, particularly enhancement, values and social functions. The VFI supplemented by qualitative work may be efficacious to further identify EV motives and retention strategies.